Great Authors and Inspirers

As promised, a few pictures of a few friends and authors at RWA. These authors are just a few of my favorite people. Everyone was really great and down-to-earth. As I mentioned, RWA was exhausting and exhilarating. However, meeting some of my favorite authors added to the fun and an atomsphere of creativity.

Next year’s conference is in Tennessee, Grand Ole Opry country and I’m hoping to attend.

Pictured: Romance authors Kimberly Kaye Terry, Celeste Norfleet and Farrah Rochon take a break from RWA activities.Kim, Celeste & Farrah

2009-07-16 20.49.33Kimberly Kaye Terry and Candice Poarch smiling for the camera phone!

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Tossing Caffeine

200177044-001I am not a morning person—never have been, probably never will be.

Normally, I need a cup of coffee to start my day. (Yeah, I know what’s been said … it’s all in my head.) But there are times when I friggin’ amaze myself.

The day of my pitching appointment at the Romance Writers of America Conference in Washington, D.C., was one such day. I purchased a cup of coffee for $3.00, took two sips and tossed it.

Yes, just shoot me. I tossed caffeine down the drain because I was too nervous to drink it. I was wired—naturally.

I did something else that shocked the hell out of me. I sat in the front row. I’m a middle type of person. I sit in the middle of the row, in the middle aisle, in the middle of the room. I don’t like weather that’s too hot or too cold, average—middle. I open rolls or packs of candy in the middle.

But I actually made a conscious effort to sit in the front row, and wait for my appointment time to be called. Deep. And a sign of sheer panic.

But then it was my turn, and the panic morphed into determination, professionalism and a desire to succeed.

I wanted to make a good impression, to present my book and to give those ten minutes of my life the care and attention it deserved. After all, it was my only opportunity to make a good first impression.

The editor was gracious and friendly. She put me at ease immediately. She made my ten minutes of pitching, meaningful and worthwhile. She commented on how passionate I was about my book through my brief description. I was pleased that I exhibited excitement about my work. She liked elements of my book and about nine minutes into the interview, the editor requested a partial submission.

Elation beyond words.

Before attending RWA, I read a lot about the do’s and don’ts of pitching. I’m glad I followed the advice of agents, editors, and friends who are published authors. More important, I’m glad I listened my own advice to get over the nervousness, and follow Nike’s message—JUST DO IT.

After my interview, I sat in the middle of my bed in the hotel room, savoring another cup of coffee and staring at the editor’s business card.

Friggin’ amazing.

RWA National Conference … Rejuvenating

I’ve returned from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference, rejuvenated and ready to continue writing. There were so many workshops to choose from, but so little time to try them all. (Four days isn’t nearly enough time!)

Career, Craft, Publishing and Writer’s Life were just a few of the workshop tracks offered. There were special workshops, and spotlights on individual publishing houses, and what they’re seeking regarding submissions. And if you want to feel intensity, try pitching your book to an agent or editor within a ten minute timeframe. Whew!

I met so many new friends, and like I mentioned earlier, hung out with some very dear friends. Although I’m rejuvenated, I’m tired as you know what. So, I fill you in on more happenings tomorrow. I hope to have a few pictures to post. I had a great time, but it’s always nice to come home.

A Virgin Goes to Washington

85208926Next week I’m headed to Washington, D.C. for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference.

It’s been a hectic week at work, and at home trying to prepare. As you know, something always pops up, just before you go away.

Anyway, I’m excited about my trip. Since I’m a virgin to the RWA National Conference, I’m a little nervous, excited and full of hopeful, but realistic expectations.

My intent is to attend the workshops, pad and pen in hand, and absorb everything I can about how to make my work marketable, learn from the professionals who have “been there and done that,” and just enjoy myself.

A PRO retreat is being offered for those who have submitted a manuscript to a publisher or editor. I’m excited about attending these workshops specifically designed for writers who have reached this level in their aspiring career.

I have an editor and agent interview scheduled, and this will probably be the most important 20 minutes I’ve had in a long time. With both, I plan to:

• Talk a little about my project
• Listen to any and all advice they offer
• Ask questions
• Be myself and put my best foot forward.

Whew! It’s a short list with major implications.

I haven’t been to Washington, DC in a long time, so I plan to have some fun. A few friends will be there as well. It will be nice to see them and hang out.

Some of my favorite authors will be there signing books for the 2009 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, which is open to the public.

Woohoo! It almost feels like someone told me everything in the mall is free. I’m packing my suitcase with a few books for autographs.

There’s a cool tour of D.C. at night, which gives you a taste of the city in lights. Sounds very inspiring. I can’t wait.

While there, I’m attending the Passionate Ink soirée that sounds like big fun. Again, I have a chance to meet fellow romance writers, and I’ll find out where my manuscript, “Falling Again” placed in the Stroke of Midnight contest. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

I hope to have plenty of information to share.

Smack it up, flip it, rub it down … but keep the body bag

76186749I consider myself a sexually liberated woman. I love Erotica and write erotic romance. Blindfolds, handcuffs, honey and feathers sound wonderful. But I’m chicken shit when it comes to pain. I don’t like pain. (Giving birth was about all I could take.)

That’s why I guess it hard for me to put my brain around erotic asphyxiation. For many, it’s a rush.

Asphyxiation is a way to get off, or experience a more fulfilling orgasm. Having someone choke me, or trying to cut off my oxygen supply doesn’t turn me on.

What people do is their business, of course. However, when it becomes public speculation (i.e. David Carradine and Michael Hutchence from INXS, who reportedly died during autoerotic asphyxiation) people will start to wonder.

I had a talk with a group of friends. For the most part, they’re open minded individuals, and they all agreed. Asphyxiation is a scary way to get off.

I know I couldn’t do it. Please. Someone would find my crazy behind after the fact, and have plenty to talk about when I’m gone. “Girl, she had the cord wrapped around the computer …”

Oh, and you won’t see any of my heroes or heroines indulge in erotic asphyxiation. I’ve already had that talk with them. (But a few of them have informed me that they will strangle someone if a loved one’s’ life is threatened.)

IMHO, I think the best orgasm comes when you’re with someone (s) and you’re completely in sync. Sex is heightened when you can test the waters without fear of making a mistake, or doing it in such a way that can be life endangering.

Whether it’s spanking, a threesome or swinging from a chandelier—whatever you do, be safe about it. Kinky is fine, as long as you know what you’re doing. That’s why in BDSM, there’s a safe word. I don’t recall hearing about a safe word with self-asphyxiation.

We all have our likes and dislikes. Whatever you do, be careful and enjoy.

Creating a Better Writing Workspace

200534932-001My best place to write is on my bed with my laptop on my legs. I usually have the TV on low or mute, so I have a visual. Just in case, anything catches my eye.

My headset is glued to my ears, and I’m writing to a host of musical selections depending on the scene or a mood. On the average, this works for me.

However, I have an opportunity to create a true workspace. The eldest of my little birdies is flying away to build her own nest, and leaving me with a little extra space in mine.

Hot damn. An office! So much to do. So much to buy. Where do I start?

My first chore is to add to my collection of overstuffed bookshelves. I have two screaming for relief. Tell me fellow readers: HOW many bookcases do you have filled with your favorite authors? And if you’re a writer as well, please …. Your shelves probably look like mine!

My second chore is to situate my office so that I can get the most benefit. To stay organized and creative, I’m going to adopt Feng Shui techniques, with a touch of sizzle.

This is going to be interesting and challenging. 🙂

To step up to this challenge, I plan to follow a few tips I ran across on a cool Web site, Care2 .

1. DON’T sit in line with the door, as you will be in the path of negative energy.
2. DON’T face away from the door if you are conducting business from home. Business will symbolically come to you through the door, so don’t turn your back on it.
3. DON’T arrange your workspace so that you look straight out into a corridor or see the stairs, storage rooms, closets, elevators, escalators, or toilets.
4. DO put your computer in the North or West area of your office to enhance your creativity. Place the computer in the Southeast if you use it to generate income.
5. DO place an aquarium or tabletop fountain in the East, North, or Southeast. A small aquarium with black or blue fish in the North area of your desk or office will activate your business and career success. Guppies or a single arrowana are ideal for an aquarium made of glass and metal.
6. DO place a safe, which is usually constructed of metal, in either West or Northwest, which both represent the metal element. The safe symbolizes the prosperity and financial security of a business.
7. DO have a good balance of yin and yang when decorating your workspace. Balance light and dark colors, soft and hard surfaces, and smooth and rough textures in your choice of window treatments, furniture, and flooring.
8. DON’T have any mirrors in your office, as they can reflect negative energy from clients to other people in the room. You should always maintain control over the energy in your office.

The full excerpted list is on the Care2 Web site and you can buy the actual book Feng Shui Dos & Taboos,by Angi Ma Wong, on Amazon.

I’m going to use as many tips as I can. Well, maybe I won’t get the aquarium because that means cleaning the tank. My middle birdie, who had an aquarium, is no longer living at home. So I can’t bribe her to clean mine. (Did I say bribe? I meant ask.)

The sizzle in my workspace may include a red bulb for when my characters need a romantic rendezvous, or chocolate covered cherries, strawberries or good old M&Ms stashed in my desk drawer when an aphrodisiac is required. I’m quite sure I’ll add more things as I go along.

If you have tips on making your office or writing space work for you, let me know. I’m open to all ideas. I’ll let you know how my office turns out.

Knowing me, I’ll wind up back on my bed, in the Northeast corner, facing the door, with an aquarium to my right.